Society

NY School Cancels Kindergarten Show To Better Prepare The Kids For College

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A New York elementary school sent a letter home to parents informing them that the annual Kindergarten show, which is a popular event in the community, would be cancelled, and the reason why has outraged many.

Harley Avenue Primary School Principal Ellen Best-Laimit sent the letter home to parents in Elwood, New York informing them of the cancellation and saying they want to focus more on preparing the kindergarteners for college.

“The reason for eliminating the Kindergarten show is simple. We are responsible for preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills and know that we can best do that by having them become strong readers, writers, coworkers and problem solvers,” said Best-Laimit in the letter. “Please do not fault us for making professional decisions that we know will never be able to please everyone. But know that we are making these decisions with the interests of all children in mind.”

The letter outraged the kids’ parents, and now, one mother is doing everything in her power to convince the school to put on the show.

Ninette Solis started an online petition in the hopes that the school will reconsider their decision to cancel the popular show, and so far, the petition has garnered almost 1,900 signatures.

“These are 5-year-old children!” Solis writes on the petition page. “This is outrageous! Canceling the show makes no sense at all.”

Solis’s daughter Gabriela told News 12 Long Island that all she wanted to do was sing.

“I really like singing and I just really wanted to sing more,” said Gabriela Solis.

Despite growing criticism, the school defends their decision, saying that they cancelled the show in the “best interest of the students.”

The full letter reads:

April 25, 2014

Dear Kindergarten Parents and Guardians,

We hope this letter serves to help you better understand how the demands of the 21st century are changing schools, and, more specifically, to clarify, misperceptions about the Kindergarten show. It is most important to keep in mind is [sic] that this issue is not unique to Elwood. Although the movement toward more rigorous learning standards has been in the national news for more than a decade, the changing face of education is beginning to feel unsettling for some people. What and how we teach is changing to meet the demands of a changing world.

The reason for eliminating the Kindergarten show is simple. We are responsible for preparing children for college and career with valuable lifelong skills and know that we can best do that by having them become strong readers, writers, coworkers and problem solvers. Please do not fault us for making professional decisions that we know will never be able to please everyone. But know that we are making these decisions with the interests of all children in mind.

Sincerely,

Ellen Best-Laimit

Angela Casano

Keri Colmone

Stefanie Gallagher

Martha DeMartini

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